Wimberly Gets Involved

Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly says he will support a millionaire's tax if it is posted for a vote, but he doesn't see enough support in the caucus for such a bill to pass.

PATERSON – Victor Cruz has a Super Bowl ring.

Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35) has a ring in the world of politics, and people come looking for it all the time, prepared to plant a big old smooch on it in exchange for his endorsement.

But Wimberly – who coached Cruz before the Paterson-born wide receiver found greatness in the NFL – has kept his ring polished and out of sight for the most part, at least this season, and certainly in the case of the mayor’s race.

Twice in a row he backed Andre Sayegh (2014 and 2018).

But Wimberly this year decided to send one of this famed sunflower-seed spitting messages, opting to prowl the sidelines in coach-mode rather than leap into the fray on the strength of loyalty demonstrated.

Wimberly didn’t like the fact that two councilmen under indictment (Alex Mendez and Mike Jackson) found a way to claw 4,000 petition signatures.

It says something about the sitting administration, he says, and he wants Sayegh – a friend – to up his game, have a better second term, and spend more time building other relationships in the African American community and keeping good on them.

That said, Wimberly last night could not longer hold back from staying out of the at-large contest.

In a crowded citywide field, he sent out an email blast endorsing the two incumbents: Council President Maritza Davila and Councilwoman Lilisa Mimms.

It’s not that he necessarily minds people kissing the ring.

There’s a time, perhaps. And a place.

But the tough guy coach also doesn’t mind people working for it.

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